OUR VIEWS: Open your pantries

Aug 17, 2012

As unemployment hovers at 7 percent in Ottawa County and thousands of people statewide fall off the unemployment rolls, the need for help is greater than it has been in decades.

Startling statistics released recently show that poverty is trending at the highest levels seen since the 1960s.

Folks have lost their jobs. They’ve lost their homes.

Many who have long been too proud to accept charity are now being brought to their knees. Their cupboards are bare, and their prospects slim.

Why so slim? Partly because there are so many others in the same situation. Partly because most people don’t think about charity during the busy summer months. That equation adds up to sparse food pantry shelves and waiting lists for household items.

These are indeed lean times for many.

While it seems like the economy is recovering as more tourists flock to our waterfront, and as job postings pop up with more regularity, it will take quite a while before some families find their way out of what are now desperate situations.

So open your pantries. Open your hearts.

Love INC, the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and local churches and food pantries could all use a boost. Cash stretches farther than canned goods, but canned goods, non-perishable items, household items, clothing, bikes and children’s toys will all help your neighbors.

Consider donating that bike you have in your yard sale to Love INC, which can get it into the hands of someone in need of transportation to and from work. Clean out those cupboards to donate to your local food pantries. And consider writing a check to the local chapter of the United Way to provide for your community year-round.

Most of all, don’t look away from the need that’s right in front of you.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

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